Teach, learn, teach, learn

A big, beautiful, affirming week in the yoga aspects of my life.

Around the office job, I taught three times this week, which is more than usual, with a full range of activities — a mixed class of 15 or so at work, a semi-private with two pretty experienced girls, and a private with a beginner. I loved every bit of all of these experiences and learned so much from my students. I trust they also learned something too from my teaching! As the students at work get to know me in these first weeks, they begin to chat more after class so it’s easier to gauge their reaction to my teaching (a beautiful follow up from one student this week who found my class ‘wonderful’ and wanted to know where else I taught so she could do more yoga with me each week 🙂 ). Happy, happy. It’s not all about nice feedback and compliments (it’s not about me at all), but that can help with confidence and motivation as I find my feet and learn to trust myself.

Hubby reports that I seem happier this past month since I started teaching at my workplace, which is nice (and unexpected) to hear! I think I just needed to get out and about more with my yoga. Small teaching is quietly satisfying but larger group teaching is more energizing — and I could do with some of that!

I also really enjoyed the classes I attended with my own teacher this week. Balancing the roles of teacher and student can be refreshing and invigorating — even if (or perhaps especially when?) it’s a challenge to find time and energy for both. This week there was no time for my usual nap before the late evening L2 class, and because I was very tired it took me to my limits in focus and in physical ability (peak pose exploring handstand with a partner — so two challenges in one there!). But I loved every second of working my various edges and even had the space to ask my teacher for some help with Urdhva Dhanurasana which is showing up shoulder imbalances at the moment. I’ve probably strained myself staring at my upside-down reflection in the mirror recently trying to determine what needs lifting or shifting in my shoulder! 🙂

And at the end of the week, a day and a half of pretty intense training with a teacher visiting my local studio from US. I’m now tucked up at home with a hot water bottle and camomile tea and only Rachmaninoff for company, trying to rest brain and body. I am Tired — with a capital T! I find this kind of training exhausting. Learning through doing isn’t my favourite way of taking in information and learning new skills — I prefer some time to absorb the theory before I try to apply. It’s never like that with yoga though. In at the deep end over and over again. So I’m getting a tiny bit better at observing that preference in myself and then just having to get on with it. Plus some supportive comments from my teacher at just the right moment when I was feeling like turning tail and disappearing over the nearest horizon.

Although I spent a lot of time wanting to run out of the room, feeling I didn’t belong there among these wiser, more experienced teachers, nonetheless they showed me considerable respect and I’m sure were oblivious to my imposter syndrome (or were too busy dealing with their own!). Someone wanted to know where I taught because she liked my cuing and wanted to come to my class, another was amazed at how much I knew about philosophy and Sanskrit, and I was able to talk a third through a fundamental aspect of anatomy that had been baffling her, showing her how to palpate that part of the body and unmuddling her on three different features that she was confusing. So even here I felt I was able to give from my own understanding, as well as receive from others.

Yes, I am now a yoga teacher too, so I go to yoga trainings. And like teaching itself, these trainings get a little easier each time, the leap into the unknown made with a little more trust that I’ll make it to the other side. And still be smiling when I land!

Maybe all the Ganesha chanting recently is helping me view challenges as learning opportunities!

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